Why was the Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk title fight cancelled?
With anticipation at an all time high, fight fans were disappointed to learn that the bout between the Brit and the Ukrainian had been cancelled. The question is, ‘why?’
It’s not every day we get to see an undisputed heavyweight title bout and it appears that’s now set to continue, with reports confirming that the prize fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been cancelled. As for why that is, here’s what we’ve learned
Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter blames Tyson Fury’s demands
According to comments from Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, there was a contract demand that Tyson Fury wasn’t happy about which in turn resulted in the undisputed bout being cancelled. Following months of negotiations, it seemed as though boxing fans were finally going to have the historic clash between the ‘Gypsy King’ and the ever-dangerous Ukranian, however, it’s now understood that the parties failed to reach an agreement. Among the things that were revealed, were Fury’s demand of a 70/30 purse split, which Usyk accepted as well as the denial of a rematch clause for both fighters. There was also the question of a proposed £1million donation to the people of Ukraine which Usyk wanted to see taken from Fury’s purse, something that the Brit flatly refused to accept. Indeed, Krassyuk revealed that it was one of the central reasons why the fight was cancelled.
While he declined to go into further detail, he did admit that the purse demand caused an issue. “We did everything possible,” Krassyuk said. “It wouldn’t be right to go into the details because of business ethics, that’s only possible if Frank agreed and we do it publicly. There is actually no one to blame because Frank did as much as he could and is still trying. We did have a very productive conversation on Sunday, we went through most of the issues and had to compromise. ...Some of the [issues] are not that important and some of them are, but we acted in good faith, so it goes in the proper direction. At some point when I was talking to Usyk, he asked me ‘How many more times I have to bow my head? I am the unified heavyweight champion and undisputed cruiserweight champion’.
What did Alexander Krassyuk say about the Ukraine donation?
Aside from the above-mentioned purse issues, there was also the question of a donation to Ukraine, which as stated before Fury wanted no part of. “I did act in the courtesy of boxing when I accepted 70/30 but I accepted it with a condition that Tyson had to donate £1million to the people of Ukraine immediately after the fight. Tyson seemed to only hear the first part of this message and didn’t like, want or hear the second. There were a bunch of issues that collectively put the criticalness which finally exploded and we had to pull the plug.”
Interestingly, Krassyuk insisted they will continue to try to make an undisputed bout happen for as long as Usyk holds the heavyweight belts, regardless of whether Fury is still the WBC titleholder or not. To that end, Usyk already has a new opponent lined up in the wake of the cancellation as he is set to face mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois. “From our perspective, the undisputed heavyweight championship fight remains our highest priority,” he added. “We will comply with our obligations with the mandatories and then work hard to make it happen. Whoever is the temporary holder of the WBC belt that is pending in Usyk’s collection is not an issue. The issue is the belt and the unfortunate thing is at this moment, Tyson Fury holds it.”
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